While it hasn’t been officially announced, it seems as though Gilbert Burns is readying himself to be the next man up for Khamzat Chimaev.
The former welterweight title contender Burns has been continually linked to a bout with the surging 170-pound contender Chimaev, with rumours suggesting that the two will meet in April on the UFC 273 card which is expected to be topped by championship fights between Alexander Volkanovksi and the Korean Zombie, as well as Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan.
And it seems as if he is already deep in preparation for the fight after posting an image to social media showing that his training camp is underway.
Training camp officially started! pic.twitter.com/trWgDYEIBZ
— GILBERT BURNS DURINHO (@GilbertDurinho) January 31, 2022
Burns, who was defeated by Kamaru Usman by third-round stoppage in his first world title shot a year ago, has since rebounded with a win against another former title contender in Stephen Thompson — but becoming the first man to defeat Chimaev, who has captivated the attention of fans due to his dominant displays in the cage since debuting on Fight Island in the summer of 2020, would certainly reinstall the Brazilian’s title credentials even if he remains far above Chimaev in the rankings.
As for Chimaev, he picked up his fourth win in the UFC last year when he blitzed Li Jingliang and has still absorbed just two strikes in his entire UFC career thus far.
If he retains that kind of record against Burns, don’t be surprised if he is fast-tracked to a title shot against the winner of the forthcming Kamaru Usman vs. Leon Edwards world title bout.